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Clear Lake fire department gets underwater drone

Anonymous donor pays for high tech search and rescue device.

Posted: Aug 7, 2019 12:52 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – The Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department has a new piece of search and rescue equipment, thanks to an anonymous donor.

The money was used to buy an underwater Video Ray drone equipped with high intensity lighting, live video camera, and multi-beam high sensitivity sonar. Fire Chief Doug Meyers says that advanced sonar will be extremely useful for locating things underwater and when the lake is iced over and they can’t deploy their rescue boat and its sonar, they’ll be able to cut a hole in the ice and use the drone’s to search for anything that’s fallen through.

Chief Meyers says the sonar equipment on the drone alone is worth $30,000.

In addition, the drone will be able to deliver marking devices and tools to locations on and under the water. Chief Meyers says he doesn’t know of any other Iowa fire department that has this kind of technology.

Clear Lake firefighters should start training to use the drone before the end of August.

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